Tom Cruise Weighs in on 'Top Gun: Maverick' Delay Due to Coronavirus

Top Gun fans have already waited 34 years for a sequel, and now that wait will be even longer because of the coronavirus pandemic. Star Tom Cruise confirmed Top Gun: Maverick will now not be released until December. It is the latest Hollywood blockbuster delayed since the outbreak forced both major movie theater chains in the U.S. to close.

"I know many of you have waited 34 years," Cruise wrote in a tweet Thursday afternoon. "Unfortunately, it will be a little longer. Top Gun: Maverick will fly this December. Stay safe, everyone." Moments before publishing that tweet, Variety reported Paramount Pictures rescheduled Top Gun: Maverick from June 24 to Dec. 23, 2020.

Paramount also finally announced a new release date for John Krasinski's horror movie A Quiet Place Part II, which was just days away from being released in March before it was taken off the schedule. The movie is now set to open on Sept. 4, 2020. The animated movie The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run was delayed from May 22 to July 31, although it is not clear if movie theaters could be open by then. The science fiction film The Tomorrow War was originally scheduled for Christmas Day, but is now undated.

Top Gun: Maverick cost Paramount more than $150 million to make and the studio was banking on it being a huge hit. With a budget like that, the only way it could possibly make its money back would be an international theatrical release. The delay should give Paramount extra time to mount a global marketing campaign.

The new movie picks up 30 years after the original Top Gun, which helped make Cruise an international superstar. Cruise plays pilot "Maverick" Mitchell again, along with Val Kilmer as Iceman. John Hamm, Glen Powell, Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly also star. Jerry Bruckheimer returned as producer, while Joseph Kosinski directed.

The Top Gun delay is another sign that the summer movie season will not happen due to the coronavirus. Both AMC and Regal theater chains, the two biggest in the U.S., have been closed indefinitely. Warner Bros. already delayed Wonder Woman 1984 and In The Heights, while Sony has pushed Morbius and Ghostbusters: Afterlife all the way to 2021. Universal also delayed Minions: The Rise of Gru and the upcoming Fast & Furious movie F9.

After Top Gun: Maverick, Crusie was scheduled to start work on the next two Mission: Impossible movies in Europe. Paramount halted production in February, just before filming was set to begin in Venice, Italy.

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"Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for Mission: Impossible 7," Paramount said in a statement to ComicBook.com at the time. "During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves."

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